A couple of weeks ago I was watching tv and an ad came up for a new show called "The Last Man" and they were like "based on the acclaimed graphic novel". The show looked interesting (a plague wipes out every man (?) in the world except for Yorick, a smart but lazy loser with his pet monkey Ampersand. I. being myself, was like well if I'm interested in this and I'm too impatient to wait for the show to come out looks like I will have to read the graphic novels instead so I know what happens! And I did. I love a good graphic novel series that isn't superhero related (no offense superheroes, just not my favorite form for you) and I hadn't had a good GN readathon in awhile so I was excited to get at these. The confusing thing about GN sometime is that they come in different editions and issues, my library had the whole series in 10 books, so that's what I read. It worked out well!
So, Yorick, our loveable loser and his (male) monkey Ampersand survive a plague that wipes out every male animal and human on the planet. I really like this concept because of it's far reaching implications, many of which are addressed in the novels. Like think of al of the industries that the men outnumber their female coworkers (government, airline pilots, shipping, oil production, military, etc etc). Yorick's mom is a senator who suddenly finds herself as the President because of the line of succession. She sends Yorick away with Agent 355, a mysterious Secret Service agent, to get him to a famous doctor who may be able to find the secret to Yorick's survival. Yorick agrees to go along with 355 but the whole time is mostly just concerned with trying to find Beth, his anthropology student girlfriend who was in the outback of Australia for school when the plague hit.
The novels take place over a series of 3 or 4 years as Yorick, 355 and a cast of other characters make their way across the US and then the world in search of Beth and the answer to Ampersand and Yorick's survival. There are Amazons (an angry, violent group of women who pillage and murder and burn down sperm banks), the Israeli army, Yorick's super angry sister Hero, drug runners, submariners, rogue agents and more.
I really enjoyed this series. All of our main characters were inherently flawed but good and cared for each other in a realistic way. It felt like the stakes were high and they weren't afraid to put our characters in danger. I will be tuning in to the tv show when it starts this month!